(NewsNation) — Three-time United States Auto Club national champion and former NASCAR driver Bobby East died Wednesday in California after a stabbing at a gas station, according to police.
Police in Westminster, California, said they responded to a report of a stabbing that came in just after 5:51 p.m. PST Wednesday. When officers arrived, they located the victim, East, on the ground suffering from a serious stab wound.
“Officers attempted life-saving measures until paramedics arrived and transported the victim to a local trauma center, where the victim succumbed to his injury,” the Westminster Police Department said in a news release.
The USAC confirmed East’s death in a report published Friday, calling the 37-year-old one of the most prolific drivers of his era.
“The USAC community is shocked and saddened with the sudden passing of Bobby East,” USAC President & CEO Kevin Miller said in a statement. “On behalf of USAC, I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Bobby, a racer among racers.”
Police identified Trent William Milsap as a suspect in the stabbing and eventually killed him while serving a warrant at his apartment after a confrontation occurred between he and police. SWAT teams and K-9 units were used to serve the warrant at Milsap’s apartment because of his previous violent behavior, police said.
A police dog suffered a gunshot would during the confrontation, the dog was taken to an animal hospital and treated for its injuries. Police say the dog has returned home and “is doing well.”
East, whose father was a noted short-track car builder, won SAC Silver Crown championships in 2004, 2012 and 2013.
He was just 16 in 2001 when he became the youngest driver to win a feature USAC National Midget race. He won 15 USAC races in 2004 and soon dabbled in a short NASCAR career.
He had raced in 42 NASCAR national touring races between 2005 and 2008. He made 11 career starts in what is now NASCAR’s Xfinity Series and had two top-10 finishes in 31 career Truck Series races.
“Very sad to hear of the tragic incident involving Legend USAC driver Bobby East. He was one heck of a wheelman,” tweeted former Truck Series champion Todd Bodine.
Newsnation affiliate WXIN and the Associated Press contributed to this report.